During the formal talk Tip indicated that 2/3's of the students at HIMS are advanced learners either in Spectrum or HCC. From his perspective the teachers are doing an amazing job. After the split in a year, he expects that the program will stay at the building and in the north end roughly even groups of HCC students will go to all 3 middle schools (JAMS, HIMS REMS). He also has no part in the feeder patterns and offered no updates on how the split is going to work out.
One nice part of having him there is that it was mentioned in the intro that the LA/SS alignment meetings were going on with participation from all middle schools except Hamilton. That was news to Tip and he indicated he would follow up on it. So we'll see if something develops here. He then took a series of questions:
- On Spectrum vs. HCC he feels the differences are mostly seen in skills i.e. more complex writing and higher expectations while the content can be similar. In a followup he stressed that Middle School was also more about building skills versus specific content and that he expected differentiation to occur in each room.
- He directly called out the narrative from Garfield parents that HIMS students are less prepared than WMS ones "I think its false"
- Currently the district is projecting 1176 students next year. That up about 80 students.
- There was a secondary discussion about capacity where the fire code was brought up. Basically, the assertion is that the fire safety limits are way beyond the buildings current students and the fire department will not prevent overcrowding.
- There was also an interesting question about Spectrum Science which is not currently offered. The science teachers present mentioned that HCC science is 2 years ahead rather than advanced so there is no concept of honors science to do currently.
At the very end there was a quick update from the Ingraham representative. I asked a few questions here. They have decided to go with a honors physics option for 10th grade rather than an AP one. One question which I asked but this was probably the wrong audience was whether there had been any though about how the Lincoln H.S. rollout would affect IB students. Hopefully, students will not be assigned out of their program but this is an issue to keep an eye on.